Collective Consciousness

The Best of the New York Design Shows

By Natasha Wolff
August 10, 2017

The trends you’ll be calling on for years to come

New York City’s highly-anticipated design shows, which take place every spring, offer a preview of the future of design. Here are five themes you’ll be incorporating into your home or office design over the next few years.

Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde at Frieze New York. Photograph by Mark Blower
Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde at Frieze New York. Photograph by Mark Blower

Going Tribal
At the most recent WantedDesign, designers went tribal with their creations. Hors Pistes designers Marie Douel and Amandine David provided creative encounters, enabling young designers to discover foreign traditional techniques and artisans from Africa to diversify the field of application of their designs. This led to unique installations inspired by indigenous people. At NYC x Design, artisanal textile and carpet maker Golran exhibited intricate creations alongside Moroso at WantedDesign. At Frieze New York, Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde showcased installations by artist triumvirate Dubai Rokni and Ramin Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian.

Jon Rafman’s 3-D video series at Frieze New York. Photograph by by Timothy Schenck
Jon Rafman’s 3-D video series at Frieze New York. Photograph by by Timothy Schenck

Getting Techy
New applications of 3-D printing and animation in design were rampant at Collective Design Fair and WantedDesign (and were also seen everywhere at Salone Del Mobile in Milan). At New York x Design, tech-driven Japanese designer Hiroto Yoshizoe was a standout for his PIXEL light display, an interactive device that utilizes a series of visors to create a range of light and shadow effects. MIT Media Lab professor Neri Oxman used 3-D printing techniques in her Material Ecology installations, which consider computation, fabrication, and material itself as inseparable dimensions of design. Artist Jon Rafman even screened a video series that used 3-D animation in a secret movie theater at Frieze New York.

Samindaman’s H7_pendant lamp at WantedDesign. Photograph courtesy of Samindaman
Samindaman’s H7_pendant lamp at WantedDesign. Photograph courtesy of Samindaman

Pretty in Pink
From ceramics to neon lighting to modular furniture, millennial pink is alive and well. At Frieze New York, New York City gallery Cheim & Reid showcased an all-pink booth featuring works by female artists like Jenny Holzer and Louise Bourgeois in honor of the Women’s March on Washington. At WantedDesign, lighting design studio Anony (founded by Christian Lo and David Ryan) exhibited their striking draped Plexiglas paneled suspension light in blush tones to much fanfare. Samindaman and Dear Human also offered new takes on the “it” hue with luminous pendant lights.

Ecovative x Danielle Trofe Design’s Mush-Lume hanging pendants. Photograph courtesy of Ecovative Design
Ecovative x Danielle Trofe Design’s Mush-Lume hanging pendants. Photograph courtesy of Ecovative Design

What’s Old is New Again
Recyclables are hot. At WantedDesign, Ecovative Design and Danielle Trofe Design collaborated to create a biodegradable and compostable Mush-Lume Table Lamp grown from mushrooms. Ecovative has developed and patented a mushroom growing technology (which uses agricultural byproducts, like seed husks and corn stalks, and combines them with liquid mushroom mycelium) as a means of replacing environmentally-unfriendly Styrofoam. At NYC x Design, Kelly Harris Smith’s “Dreamcatchers” promoted environmental re-utilized post-production remnant materials. Also seen were objects fashioned from recycled materials in a show called “Made Out of WHAT?!” and pieces made from recycled materials from designers like Max Lamb and Jorge Penades at Salone del Mobile.

Martens & Visser’s “Reflecting Holons” at WantedDesign. Photograph by Bollmann
Martens & Visser’s “Reflecting Holons” at WantedDesign. Photograph by Bollmann

Pendant Lights
From practical to avant garde, pendant lights were popping up throughout the design fairs. This time, it was all about the materials. Renate Vos designed a hanging lamp made from concrete and silicone rubber, while Studio Vij5’s brass and copper lights added depth to the room. Dutch designers Jetske Visser and Michiel Martens of Martens & Visser went a step further bringing their spherical “Reflecting Holons” to WantedDesign.